A total of 66 players have opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly half of them linemen.

Twenty offensive linemen and 11 on defence opted out before Thursday’s deadline. Players with a medical opt out will receive a $350,000 stipend, while those voluntarily opting out receive $150,000 as an advance against future salaries.

No team has come close to New England in losing players for the upcoming season, which begins Sept. 10 with Houston at Super Bowl champion Kansas City. The Patriots, already minus several stars who left in free agency — including, of

Read More

NEW ORLEANS — Saints coach Sean Payton says the club’s decision to occupy four floors of a hotel during training camp is simply an effort to cut down on the sheer number of people going their separate ways each day during a pandemic.

Payton said that along with 80 players on the roster during camp, there are about 90 others — such as coaches and support personnel — who are involved in daily operations.

“You have 170 stories each day,” Payton said during a conference call Tuesday. “And then you take that and times it by seven, and then you

Read More

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams have started a scouting apprenticeship program designed to boost the aspirations of minority and female candidates for football scouting jobs.

The Rams announced the creation of the program Tuesday, along with the selection of its first 10 participants.

The team says the apprentice scouts will get “experiential training, one-on-one mentorship and networking opportunities through virtual summits” from August until the 2021 NFL draft.

The participants will be involved in the Rams’ actual scouting activities while working with the team’s football operations personnel and other advisors. Rams general manager Les Snead says the

Read More

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham has fully participated in the early stages of training camp after expressing reservations whether the NFL should forge ahead and have a season with the coronavirus still spreading.

Beckham reported to Cleveland’s camp last week, passed the COVID-19 testing and has taken part in all team activities.

On Monday, the flashy receiver was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story as saying he wondered why the league was putting players’ health at risk.

“Obviously with everything that’s going on, it doesn’t make sense why we’re trying to do this,” Beckham told

Read More

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Eagles released a statement Sunday night saying Pederson hasn’t experienced any symptoms, is feeling well and under self-quarantine. The team also said any person who was in close contact with Pederson has been notified and will be tested daily.

Per NFL protocols, Pederson can return to the team’s practice facility after waiting 10 days since his first positive test if he remains asymptomatic or at least five days if he has consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart during that five-day span.

The 52-year-old Pederson is the second … Read More

MIAMI — Ryan Fitzpatrick says he has talked with rookie Tua Tagovailoa about the most anticipated handoff in years for the Miami Dolphins.

It will happen when Fitzpatrick gives up the starting job at quarterback. And he’s aware that day is coming.

“I don’t know how much time it will be before Tua is in the lineup,” Fitzpatrick said Saturday. “I know I am the placeholder, and we’ve already had that conversation. I’m going to do the best I can to lead this team and to win when I’m out there. Whenever Tua gets his chance, I’m going to be

Read More

After waiting a few extra months to get on the practice field for the Cincinnati Bengals for the first time, No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow had a little extra energy.

“Everyone’s super anxious to have pads on and start getting some live reps,” Burrow said Friday. “We had our first walkthrough today. Everyone was fired up for that I think I was thrown in a little harder than I should have been in a walkthrough, but it felt good to be out there.”

The Bengals are also happy to have Burrow, hoping their search for the franchise quarterback who

Read More